People who have been paying attention to U.S. politics in recent times should be familiar with the name of Rex Tillerson. After all, Tillerson was President Donald Trump's Secretary of State from February of 2017 to March of 2018, which was when he learned that he had been fired via a public tweet.
However, it should be noted that there are those who will remember Tillerson because of his time in the world of business, which was presumably where he made much of his estimated $300 million+ net worth.
In short, Tillerson was born in Wichita Falls, TX. His father was an executive in the Boy Scouts of America. As a result, it should come as no surprise to learn that Tillerson is involved in the Boy Scouts, as shown by how he earned the rank of Eagle Scout.
Regardless, Tillerson was a section leader for the percussion section of his high school band, which eventually resulted in a scholarship because of the University of Texas Longhorn Band. Due to this, Tillerson would come out of the University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelor of Science in Engineering in 1975.
How Did Rex Tillerson Reach a Net Worth of More than $300 Million?
Upon graduation, Tillerson headed into Exxon as a production engineer. From that point forward, he proceeded to rise through the ranks of the corporation. As a result, Tillerson was responsible for running Exxon's operations in a number of foreign countries in the 1990s, with Russia being a particular stand-out.
By the time that Exxon and Mobil merged in 1999, this expertise and experience put Tiller in a position to become an executive vice president, which would serve as a foundation for his further rise. Eventually, Tillerson became both CEO and Chairman of the Board in 2006, thus putting him solidly in control of the corporation.
Most of Tillerson's current net worth is bound to have come from his involvement with ExxonMobil. In part, this is because his compensation had hit the tens of millions of dollars on an annual basis by the 2010s. For example, Tillerson's compensation package was worth $40.5 million in 2012. Likewise, his compensation package was worth $27.2 million in 2015.
However, it is important to note that Tillerson held $54 million in ExxonMobil stock by late 2016, which wasn't even counting the fact that he had a right to what would have been about $180 million of deferred stock over the course of the next decade.
Based on this, it seems safe to say that Tillerson's net worth would have been even higher even if wasn't for his fateful decision to work for the Trump administration, particularly since he would have been eligible for a cushy retirement package as well in a few more years.
Secretary of State
Regardless, Tillerson's tenure as the Secretary of State was not particularly impressive. He was criticized less than a lot of the other major figures in the Trump administration, but that said a lot more about the others than about him. This is particularly true because Tillerson had plenty of his own controversies as well.
One example would be the time when he excluded Myanmar, Iraq, and Afghanistan from the list of countries that used child soldiers in the annual Trafficking in Persons Report, which reportedly went ahead in spite of the unanimous recommendation against doing so by his staff.
Another example would be how Tillerson presided over a massive loss of Senior Foreign Service officers, as shown by how the number of career ambassadors and ministers dropped by more than 50 percent.
With that said, chances are good that most people who remember his tenure as Secretary of State will remember it because of the embarrassing way in which it ended, which actually resulted in a bit of back and forth because Tillerson and Trump had different stories about exactly what happened.
It remains to be seen how Tillerson's net worth will continue to change in the time to come. However, it seems safe to say that it will no longer be as closely tied to the fate of ExxonMobil as it was, seeing as how he has sold his stock in said corporation for the purpose of avoiding a conflict of interest.
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Written by Garrett Parker
Read more posts by Garrett Parker